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's efforts to protect its spectacular natural environment. air pollution regulations require special summer and winter gasoline blends in the state. refineries are making that seasonal switch now. but that reduces supply which was already tight after a fire in august shut down part of a chevron refinery at richmond near san francisco. then last week a power failure temporarily knocked out an exxon refinery at torrance in southern california. >> the richmond refinery and torrance refinery account for about 25% of the production in california because they are two of the biggest refiners we have. it is easy to see why the wholesalers panic. >> as wholesalers raise prices, drivers started to panic as gas seemed to get more expensive by the hour. >> i just don't see it going down any time soon. >> reporter: state energy officials are trying to reassure drivers that price spikes like this don't last. >> this is a very dramatic one. but we do know that what goes up does come down and often quite quickly. >> reporter: in fact, wholesale prices have started coming down. dropping 55 cents on the spot
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